Tap Water Safety in Bhutan

Can you drink the tap water in Bhutan?

In general, no.

The US Center for Disease Control's travel advisory recommends avoiding tap water and drinking bottled or disinfected water in Bhutan (source).

Like all countries though, water accessibility, sanitation, and treatment vary widely from location to location, so we encourage looking for specific city information.

What do people in Bhutan think about the tap water?

  • Never drink tap water
  • Bottled water is generally safe“ check the seal is intact at purchase
  • Avoid ice
  • Avoid fresh juices“ they may have been watered down
  • Boil water, this is the most efficient method of purifying it; let it boil a bit longer at higher altitudes
  • Purify water“ the best chemical purifier is iodine but this should not be used by pregnant women or those with thyroid problems
  • Use water filters“ should also filter out viruses; ensure your filter has a chemical barrier such as iodine and a small pore size, eg less than four microns

The most commonly searched cities in Bhutan are:

For a full list of cities in Bhutan, scroll to the bottom of this post or click here.

World Health Organization Bhutan Water Summary

The World Health Organization estimates that 97 percent of Bhutan have access to drinkable tap water.

In 2000, 29% of the population had access to drinkable, tap water on site, and 83% within an accessible distance, including both rural and urban areas.

In Bhutan, like in most countries, clean tap water availability is much higher in urban areas than in rural areas, with urban area availability averages at 49%.

The rural availability figures at 28%

World Health Organization's 2017 Bhutan Water Data

The World Health Organization data on water quality and availability throughout Bhutan includes the national average, averages for urban population centers, and averages for rural areas.

DataDescription
Safely ManagedA location that safe, drinkable water that is free of biological or chemical contaminants available on premise.
At Least BasicSafe drinkable water is available within 30 minutes from the location
LimitedIt would take more than 30 minutes from the location to access safe, drinkable water.
YearPopulation in 1000sSafely managedAt Least BasicLimited
National
200057329%83%1%
201780836%97%3%
Rural
200043022%78%1%
201748528%97%3%
Urban
200014349%96%3%
201732349%98%1%

What Do People In Bhutan Think About The Tap Water?

Travelers and residents of Bhutan have rated the water quality and pollution as follows, according to subjective survey data.

A score of 100% is considered very high, and a score of 0% is very low. Please be cautious that "moderate to very high" water pollution is bad and the higher the rate of water quality the better.

DescriptionScoreRating
Drinking Water Pollution and Inaccessibility36%Moderate
Water Pollution54%Moderate
Drinking Water Quality and Accessibility64%Moderate
Water Quality46%Moderate

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View our tap water report on all cities in Bhutan

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